What do you like about America? Assuming that you don’t possess a reflexive hatred of it. Even the noisiest lefty usually has a sneaking regard for the country.
From my point of view, I like the bigness, the friendliness, and the panache of the place. If you were lucky enough to be a white middle class American in the 50’s and early 60’s, life probably didn’t get much better. None of this is to disregard the social issues of those times. The Knife’s second cousin was a civil rights marcher with MLK. But he loved the States.
Lots of things have improved since then – medicine, technology, civil rights etc – but something has probably been lost as well. The US is coming to the end of its own Blairite experiment, under Obama, and it’s been pretty messy. Like the UK under Blair, a lot of good things have been lost forever. I’ve blogged on this stuff many times before.
One more thing. Today as I was hurtling down Portola at the intersection of Country Club Drive I saw a perfectly restored 1956 Ford Fairlane Coupe, two tone, bright yellow and white. It was elegant, powerful, a symbol of a confident nation with an artistic sense to match its power. Now we have little cars that look like insects and we are a nation in as much self-doubt as Barack Obama even though we are incomparably richer than we were in 1956 and there is no more Soviet Union. Where did our confidence go? Somewhere in the deep bosom of ocean buried, chased there by a media that hates the nation and the people that made it rich.